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4 Ayurvedic Tips for Winter Wellness

By Dr Shaun Matthews

Keeping warm in winter is a real priority in Ayurveda. A build up of cold energy in the body can quickly lead to various kinds of health imbalances, including upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, sinusitis and a general sense of agitation. Our digestive and nervous systems need warmth in order to function at their best, so I include below a few warming tips to see you through til springtime.

1. If you are having difficulty staying warm, do ensure that your living space is adequately heated. It is important that your muscles be relaxed when you are at home, so don’t deprive yourself of this basic requirement.

2. The combination of a few warming stretches, a hot shower and warm sesame oil self-massage (abhyanga) is a great way to stoke the internal fire, especially if you have been out in the cold. It is also a nice way to wash off  the work energy of the day and prepare yourself for a nourishing, cosy night at home with your partner, family or flat mates.

3. Ginger is known as the universal remedy in Ayurveda, so making a tea by pouring a cup of boiling water over a few slices of fresh ginger root is a simple way to counteract the cold, settle your digestion and improve your circulation.

4. I include below a kitchen herbal recipe for colds and bronchitis which has ginger as one of its main ingredients. It is a useful first line remedy, though if symptoms persist do consult with your trusted local health care practitioner.

Special Hot Ginger Drink for Colds and Bronchitis - A half teaspoon (tsp) of dry ginger powder, 4 whole cloves, one quarter tsp of turmeric, one tsp of black pepper and 2 tsps of coriander powder are added to 3 cups of water. This mixture is boiled for five minutes. A little milk and sugar can be added to taste. A quarter of a cup can be drunk up to three times per day.

About Dr Shaun Matthews

Dr Shaun Matthews is a medical doctor, Ayurveda and Yoga therapist in practice at Bondi Road Doctors. He is the founder and coordinator of the two year Certificate IV course in Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation at Nature Care College.

Shaun has also trained in somatic or body-orientated psychotherapy, which like Ayurveda and Yoga, acknowledges the inherent wisdom of the human body-mind. He finds this combination of approaches to be complementary in nature and extremely effective in managing all kinds of chronic disease.